Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Make Triangle Jump Rings

Did you know that jump rings don't always have to be round?

Sometimes, a round jump ring just won't go through the hole of a bead. Take these gorgeous Czech glass leaves.
Collection of pink, amber and blue Czech glass leaf beads

I really love to dangle them as charms but with their holes drilled from side to side you can't use a head pin to hang them.

So here's the solution - use a triangle jump ring.

Making your own triangle jump rings is really easy with a couple of very basic tools: flush cutters for cutting the wire and wide, flat nosed pliers to form the jump rings. Flat nosed pliers give you really sharp bends and I find the width of the plier jaws gives me consistently sized triangles.

You'll need some wire such as 22 gauge or heavier but ultimately, the diameter of the hole in the bead will determine what size wire you need to use.

I find it easier to form triangle jump rings on the spool of wire and then cut them off after they've been formed. Start by creating the left hand base prong. Hold the end of the wire in the jaws of the pliers. How much wire you have in the jaws will determine the width of the base/prong. Don't worry if you make them too wide at this point because you can always trim them later.
 Hold the very end of the wire flush with the edge of the jaws of the flat nose pliers

Bend the wire at a 60° angle. This will be the left hand side of the triangle.

Take the wire out of the pliers and reposition the edge of the jaws flush with the bend. Bend the wire at a 60° angle again.
Bending the wire at a 60° angle in the flat nose pliers.

You have now formed the top of the triangle.

Reposition the wire in the jaws again, making sure the edge of the jaws are flush with the top bend. Bend the wire again to create the right arm of the triangle.
Bending the wire in the flat nose pliers at a 60° angle.

Complete the third bend in the same way to create the right hand side of the base/prong of the triangle.
Triangle jump ring before final trimming. 

Trim the base with the flush cutters to the same length as the left hand base/prong of the triangle.
Trimming the excess wire from the triangle with the flush cutters. 

It should look something like this.
Finished triangle jump ring. 
In this example, I've made the base quite short which will suit the leaf bead I'm attaching it to. This will be a narrow triangle jump ring but you can make the base as wide as you need for your bead.

To use the jump ring, we do something that we never do with a round jump ring; we open the arms out, left to right. Do this gently so you don't distort the triangle. Next, place a prong in one side of the bead and then carefully manoeuvre the other prong into the hole on the opposite side.
Triangle jump ring with one prong inserted into a leaf bead. 

Squeeze the sides of the triangle together to make sure the bead is secure.
Squeezing the jump ring closed with thumb and forefinger

..... and the bead is ready to hang.
Leaf bead with triangle jump ring inserted into it.

Now you know how easy it is to create your own triangle jump rings, why not also check out the post on how to make round jump rings.

Of course, jump rings can also be oval shaped or even square but that will be a post for another day.

'Til next time.....








If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs